This February features an interesting trio of events that will affect the roads: Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) is on a Friday, the following Monday is Presidents Day, a federal holiday, and that third week in February is school vacation for many districts across the country.

So whether you’re hitting the town to celebrate romance, taking advantage of a long weekend for a quick getaway, or grabbing the kids and heading out on a family vacation, the roads will be busy leading in to Presidents Day.

CMT analyzed 13.6 million trips in all 50 states and Washington D.C. from February 2019 to see which days had the most traffic, the most speeding, and the most distracted drivers on the road.

During the week leading into Presidents Day weekend last year, Thursday Feb. 14 saw the highest number of drivers on the road (423,309) and most number of car trips (546,134); they were 6.8 percent and 8.3 percent respectively higher than the average Thursday traffic that month, and the only time Thursday saw more traffic than the subsequent Friday.

Thursday, Feb. 14 was also the most distracted day of driving, with 70.44 distraction events per 100 miles. Distraction includes phone motion not tied to the movement of the car, and screen interaction, like sending a text or browsing the web.

Friday, Feb. 15 had fewer drivers and trips than the previous day, but featured the most number of miles travelled, with a total of 6.3 million, compared to 5.8 million on Feb. 14.

The best day to travel on Presidents Day weekend in 2019 was Sunday, with just 299,515 drivers on the road; drivers were also the least distracted, with 64.42 distraction events per 100 miles. Those open roads may have contributed to more speeding; Sunday Feb. 16 saw the most speeding events of the week, with 16.46 per 100 miles.

As to be expected, Monday saw a lower than normal number of drivers on the road (347,709) and overall trips (442,425), a 9.7 percent and 13 percent decrease than the average Monday that February.

For the long weekend, Thursday, Feb. 14 through Monday, Feb. 18, the top three cities with most distraction events per 100 miles were Miami, Omaha, Nebraska, and Chicago. The top three least distracted cities were Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon.

The three cities with the most speeding events per 100 miles were the Hamptons in New York, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Top Distracted Cities

  • Miami
  • Omaha
  • Chicago
  • New York City
  • Boston
  • Houston
  • Arlington (Tex.)
  • Philadelphia
  • San Diego
  • Oakland

Least Distracted Cities

  • Atlanta
  • Minneapolis
  • Portland (Ore.)
  • Albuquerque
  • Jacksonville
  • San Antonio
  • Colorado Springs
  • Austin
  • Las Vegas
  • Denver

Top Speeding Cities

  • The Hamptons
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Miami
  • Portland (Ore.)
  • Jacksonville
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago

Methodology
CMT uses phone sensors and our Bluetooth Low Energy Tag device to gather data about speeding, acceleration, hard braking, cornering, and smartphone distraction. For the purposes of this study, CMT analyzed 13.6 million trips from Feb. 14 to Feb. 18, 2019 in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Only the cities with a minimum of 2,000 trips were included in the analysis. From those trips, CMT extracted cities with risky driving behavior and analyzed the data by date, hour of day and location to uncover these findings.